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Twenty-percent of American adults experience a mental health condition every year, and 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness. From previous research and experience, we know that changing the way people talk about mental health can reduce negative stigma and stereotypes.
When considering who can have a significant communicative impact on the way our society talks and thinks about mental health and serious mental illness, two groups of professionals have the power to reach and influence large audiences: journalists and frontline healthcare providers (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, specialists, technicians, etc.). Training these professionals — especially when they are students — to more accurately, sensitively, and effectively communicate about this important topic can start a ripple effect of positive change throughout society.
Therefore, with the support of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, we have created resources that address one overarching, important question; What are the best ways to train healthcare professionals and journalists about mental health and mental illness communication... and why should we care?
Whitepaper: Mental Health Communication:
What We Know and What We Can Do Better
Focusing on traditional journalists and healthcare providers, we’ve reviewed existing academic research around mental health-related communication, including sub-topics like stigma, provider challenges, and journalistic framing. This whitepaper is an overarching summary of what we know about effective mental health communication, culminating in four evidence-based recommendations on how we can improve. Our goal is to provide pragmatic, approachable solutions, so we can begin to change the way everyone thinks and talks about mental health.
Interested in this project but don’t have time right now to absorb the whole thing? Check out our front-and-back summaries for journalists and medical professionals